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Dayle's a stunning supermodel whose flawless skin has boosted sales of a L'Oreal cream by 50%. She is also a grandmother AGED 55; EXCLUSIVE: REVEALED: THE SECRET OF STAYING YOUNG.

Byline: MAGGIE O'RIORDAN

FEW of the world's most beautiful supermodels can boast that they have increased sales of a beauty product by 50 per cent.

But Dayle Haddon can. And as a 55-year-old grandmother, that's no mean feat.

With her porcelain skin, clear blue eyes and size eight figure, it's impossible to believe that Dayle is approaching retirement age.

She was chosen by L'Oreal to front their Age Perfect campaign when they realised that middle-aged women were growing tired of young supermodels promoting skincare products for older women.

And the Canadian beauty - whose mother Terry, now 82, was a British GI bride - has given the youth-obsessed beauty industry food for thought.

In the 10 years she has been fronting the skin company, sales of its cleansers, toners, moisturisers and body products have gone through the roof.

What makes her story all the more extraordinary is that Dayle, a widow once left on the breadline following the death of her husband, has never had cosmetic surgery.

She firmly believes that all women can look their best by following what she calls her "ageless living" principles.'

Dayle admits she thought her life had come to a grinding halt when her husband Glenn died in 1988. She was left alone to raise her 15-year-old daughter, Ryan, who is now married to Hollywood heart-throb Christian Slater.

She was forced to leave their home in Paris and ended up in Los Angeles, where she hoped to resume her career as a model, actress - she appeared in 16 films alongside such stars as George Clooney and Nick Nolte - and dancer.

But no one would take her on and she ended up as a filing clerk at a small advertising agency.

Sipping water in a trendy London cafe, Dayle recalls: "I had worked in the modelling industry since I was 13 and could not believe that I was considered too old to work in my late 30s.

"I was filing, making coffee, and answering the phone. I had gone from cover girl to dishwasher overnight."

But determined not to let her experience go to waste, Dayle started calling all her contacts in the beauty industry, telling them they were ignoring millions of women like her.

Clairol and Estee Lauder eventually signed her up. She joined L'Oreal 10 years ago then was taken on five years later by top model agency Storm.

Ironically, at the time she won her L'Oreal deal, rivals Lancome were sacking actress Isabella Rosselini for being "too old" at 40. Dayle says: "It wouldn't happen today and women like Isabella, myself and others have proved them all wrong."

She has also written a bestselling book called The Five Principles Of Ageless Living, which she is hoping to get published in Britain soon. She says: "I was determined to prove that life is far from over at 40. There are so many brilliant, vibrant women in middle-age who were being ignored. What was old for our mothers' generation is not old for us. Older women have paid for their houses and brought up their children so they have more disposable income. They are also sexy and sensual.I have never felt sexier. "The 50s are really hot! It tooktime but I learned after my husband died that I am good on my own. I would only give that up for someone great -now I 've been dating a wonderful man in his fifties for three years." Dayle, who lives in New York, is inLondon visiting her daughter and two grandchildren while son-in-law Christian stars on the London stage in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. She says: "He's a great man and a great dad. He gets down on the floor and wrestles with the kids. He has the patience to play with children for hours. Everything is an adventure to Christian." It's a spirit she recognises. She says: "I love the fact that women's faces show the signs of the living they have done. I have never had cosmetic surgery andhope I never would. Any surgery is a big risk and sometimes people do die." Dayle never leaves home without covering her face, decolletage and hands with Factor 60 sunblock and always wears a hat and sunglasses in hot weather. Her five principles are - look your best, nurture your spirit, honour your body, discover your wisdom and stay connected to friends and family. She explains: "For example, everyone looks better when they smile. And if your energy levels are low, get up andgo for a walk. You will feel better and more positive. Also, if I have a problem I ask myself if it will worry me on my death bed. If not, I know Ican deal with it. I can give women advice on how to eat, what skincare regimes to follow. "The choice is their and the rest is up to them. But the more effort you put in, the more you get out. It's as simple as that." ODayle can be contacted via her website on www.dayle.com

HER 10 TIPS TO DEFY AGEING.. & HER DAILY DIET

1. Always stand up straight and smile.

2. Come rain or shine, always use sunblock on hands and face.

3. Exercise. Try to walk for at least half an hour every day.

4. Moisturise your face and body every day.

5. Don't diet. Choose brightly-coloured organic fruit and vegetables and eat half-portions of pasta, bread and potatoes.

6. Always remove make-up and cleanse your face before bed.

7. Make sure you get eight hours sleep every night, or take naps regularly.

8. Take up meditation or yoga.

9. Keep a bottle of water with you throughout the day and drink from it constantly. Cut down on caffeine and alcohol - and never smoke.

10. Above all, keep active, keep interested and get excited!

Breakfast: Bowl of blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. Bran cereal with fresh yoghurt, sprinkled with ground flaxseeds.

Lunch: Open chicken salad sandwich and water. Chocolate chip cookie.

Dinner: Grilled fish or chicken with lots of salad or vegetables.

Alcohol: Dayle rarely drinks alcohol but will enjoy a glass of wine with dinner.

Caffeine: She keeps her intake of coffee to a minimum, often drinking green tea instead.

Chocolate: Dayle's big weakness. She says: "If I fancy it, I have it. I just don't have it every day."

Hair and make-up by Kelly Marazzi. Styling by Marie McCaver. Clothes: Kevan Jon (0207 704 8633). Courtesy of The Collonade Town House Hotel, London

CAPTION(S):

AGELESS: Dayle says: 'The 50s are really hot! I have never felt sexier'; COVER GIRL: As a young model; Picture: NICHOLAS BOWMAN; ROLE MODEL: Dayle's been the face of L'Oreal for 10 yrs
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 12, 2004
Words:1114
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